Monday, 15 October 2018

Number time

Numbers, numbers, numbers. Our faithful friends. That don't lie. Unlike those unreliable human bastards.

I like this set because it doesn't just cover alcoholic drinks, but hot drinks, too. In fact, that's where all the interest is. Especially tea and coffee.

The two started not that far apart. But while tea consumption doubled between 1852 and 1872, coffee consumption fell by more than 50%. Though the big winner was cocao, the consumption of which quadrupled over the period covered.

Other highlights: beer consumption rising a bit, foreign rising in the first 20 years then falling back, domestic spirits declining, foreign and colonial spirits rising.

The increase in tea consumption, unsurprisingly, seems to coincide with the expansion of tea production in India.

It would be interesting to see the numbers longer term, especially the tea to coffee ratio.

Consumption of various drinks per head 1852 - 1888

British Spirits. Foreign and Colonial Spirits. Foreign Wines. Beer. Tea. Coffee. Cocoa.
Year ended Dec. 31. Gallons per Head Gallons per Head Gallons per Head Spirits of all kinds Gallons per Head Barrels per Head Pounds per Head Pounds per Head Pounds per Head
1852 0.918 0.177 1.095 0.231 0.610 1.993 1.274 0.121
1862 0.644 0.177 0.821 0.334 0.661 2.694 1.178 0.124
1872 0.843 0.285 1.128 0.526 0.884 4.005 0.978 0.244
1882 0.809 0.236 1.045 0.406 0.766 4.673 0.884 0.338
1885 0.732 0.221 0.953 0.379 0.746 5.021 0.899 0.402
1886 0.707 0.235 0.942 0.359 0.739 4.877 0.861 0.413
1887 0.700 0.220 0.920 0.366 0.747 4.948 0.790 0.434
1888 0.693 0.243 0.936 0.358 0.744 4.950 0.815 0.486
"The Brewers' Guardian 1889", 1889, page 307.

Sunday, 14 October 2018

Birthday recipe

There's a new button on the left. "Birthday recipe"

Let me explain what it means. Egotist that I am, I've deliberately photographed brewing records on my birthday. Which is why I could have a festival of birthday beers for my 60th birthday party.

I'll be honest here. I need to earn more dosh from my beer activities. Dolores has made this very clear. "You need to earn more money from your beer crap, Ronald."

OK, Dolores. Stop hitting me. I'll sort this out.

Want a special beer for your birthday? Or any other significant event. I can sort you out with a recipe for any given date. I've so many brewing records, I've multiple recipes for any given date.
For a mere 25 euros, I'll provide a home brew recipe for any date. Along with an image of the relevant brewing record to prove I'm not just making it up.

For just 25 euros. Bargain.

Crowley AK grists 1914 - 1919

I continue to lumber my way through the details of various AKs that I've found over the years. I've just discovered another one that I've totally untapped: Kidd AK. Which is a weird one because it only appeared after WW I. I've just never extracted the data from Kidd's post-war records.

More of that later. We're here to discuss Crowley AK. More specifically, its grists during the years of WW I. That's yet another double obsession hit: AK and WW I. Is it me who's lucky or you? MAybe it's both of us.

At least Crowly's version is a bit more interesting than the last lot of Fullers AK we lookd at. No shock there, as the table covers war years. Always lots going on then. At least in terems of gravity. Which, as you can see, dropped steadil until the summer of 1918, after which it rose again. Though it still ended lower than in 1914. 24% lower, to be precise.

Crowley's beers, though not all-malt before the war, certainly contained a high percentage of malt. In the case of AK, at least 90%. During the later war years, it really did go al malt. Probably because they were having trouble getting the type of sugar they wanted.

CDM stands for Caramelised Dextro-Maltose, in case you're wondering. It's a sugar that was used for colouring purposes. Not sure what Laevuline is, but Laevulose is an old name for fructose. I suspect that it's either fructose or something similar.

Odd that Crowly threw some choclate malt in the grist in late 1918. I assume that was for colouring purposes.

Crowley AK grists 1914 - 1919
Date Year OG pale malt chocolate Malt No. 3 sugar CDM laevuline
16th Jun 1914 1047.1 92.59% 7.41%
7th Jan 1915 1045.7 91.46% 8.54%
7th Jan 1916 1042.9 89.29% 7.14% 1.19% 2.38%
13th Jan 1916 1041.6 90.36% 7.23% 2.41%
22nd May 1917 1033.2 92.02% 6.13% 1.84%
10th Jul 1917 1036.0 100.00%
1st Jan 1918 1033.2 100.00%
4th Jun 1918 1030.5 98.36% 1.64%
23rd July 1918 1027.7 100.00%
26th Sep 1918 1030.5 96.39% 3.61%
12th Feb 1919 1034.6 100.00%
12th May 1919 1036.0 100.00%
Brewing record held at Hampshire Archives and Local Studies, document number 37M86/2.

Saturday, 13 October 2018

Let's Brew - 1858 Tetley SP

I'm just realising how few Tetley's recipes I've published. At least on the blog.* Odd given my obsession with the brewery.

Yorkshire isn’t particularly well known for Stout, though, as in all parts of the UK, plenty was brewed there. A brewery couldn’t afford not to have at least one Stout in their range. Drinkers expected the option. Tetley seem to have been particularly enthusiastic brewers of Porter and Stout. Exceptionally so for a Northern brewer.

As you’re probably tired of hearing me say, brewers outside London had mostly dropped brown malt from their Stout grists by the middle of the 19th century. They preferred a simpler grist of just pale and black malt. As is the case with this beer.

In terms of strength, it looks like a London Single Stout of the same period. Does SP stand for “Stout Porter”. Possible. But I wouldn’t bet my house on it. The bitterness level, however looks low. Reid’s 1877 S has more than twice the number of calculated IBUs.

1858 Tetley SP
pale malt 15.75 lb 92.65%
black malt 1.25 lb 7.35%
Goldings 90 mins 1.50 oz
Goldings 30 mins 1.50 oz
OG 1072
FG 1024
ABV 6.35
Apparent attenuation 66.67%
IBU 32
SRM 34
Mash at 150º F
Sparge at 180º F
Boil time 90 minutes
pitching temp 60º F
Yeast Wyeast 1469 West Yorkshire Ale

* I have published more Tetley's recipes in various books. This one appears in my excellent Let's Brew!

Friday, 12 October 2018

Fullers AK grists 1925 - 1939

Remember that really dull table of Fullers AK? Here are the grists for those same beers.

And how, er, hardly, er, what's the word I'm looking for? More interesting. That's it. They're hardly more interesting than the last table. But there is one tiny point to be made.

The recipes is very constant between 1931 and 1939. Essentially identical in every year. But between 1925 and 1931 recipes, there is a significant change. Some of the pale malt has been replaced by flaked maize.  Probably for cost reasons. This set demonstrates something about receipe evolution.

At many breweries, outside of the crisis years of the two wars, recipes remained the same for years on end. Sometimes decades. But every now and again, there might be a sudden change, as here. Then everything would stay the same for years.

Ambitious breweries tended to tinker more. Presumably as they were more cost-driven and the brewers themselves tended to have less influence.

Note that the specifications of the beer didn't change between 1925 and 1931. It remained exactly the same strength. Only the recipe changed in the background a bit. Did anyone notice?

Fullers AK grists 1925 - 1939
Date Year OG pale malt flaked maize no. 2 sugar glucose intense
17th Jun 1925 1032.2 87.70% 8.18% 2.34% 1.56% 0.22%
22nd Apr 1931 1032.3 81.80% 14.72% 2.18% 1.09% 0.20%
2nd Mar 1932 1032.5 81.65% 14.52% 2.42% 1.21% 0.20%
25th Jun 1935 1033.4 81.71% 14.53% 2.42% 1.21% 0.13%
31st Aug 1937 1033.7 81.67% 15.06% 2.11% 1.06% 0.10%
4th Jan 1938 1033.7 82.67% 14.59% 1.30% 1.30% 0.15%
24th Oct 1939 1033.4 81.33% 14.79% 2.46% 1.23% 0.18%
Fullers brewing records held at the brewery

Thursday, 11 October 2018

Come and see me in Washington DC

I'll be in Washington DC in just over a wek. Mostly habging out with friends, though I do have a couple of things planned.

Including this meet and greet at DC Brau. Where you'll have a chance to buy some of my books, hopefully. I have two very thirsty children to support. Help me buy them vodka and Best Bier.

It should be lots of fun. You can ask me anything you like (beer-related). Though I may not have the answer. I don't know everything. Just a lot.

An Evening with Ron Pattinson
Fri, October 19, 2018, 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM EDT
DC Brau
3178 Bladensburg Road Northeast
Washington, DC 20018

Going public

One of the unusual features of UK brewing in the 19th century was its ownership structure. Until the very end of the century virtual all breweries, even the very largest like Bass, Guinness or Barclay Perkins, remained privately owned, usually in the form of partnerships.

All that changed in the 1880s, when breweries started converting to public limited companies. Once a couple of launches had been higly successful, everyone rushed to get in on the act. With good reason: it was a great way of raising massive amounts of capital. Which, as we'll see later, breweries had an urgent need of.

THE most remarkable feature of the past three or four years, so far as the liquor trade 15 concerned, has undoubtedly been the wholesale transformation of private brewery concerns into public joint stock companies. Previous to 1885 the number of joint stock breweries might have been almost counted on the fingers, and the total amount of their combined capital did not reach seven million sterling. In 1886 share capital in home breweries to the amount of £7,719,200 was offered to the public, in 1887 £9,986,726, in 1888 no less than £13,486,000 in home and £1,870,000 in foreign concerns. A very conclusive proof of the profitable nature of the trade is furnished by the fact that most of the largest brewers, including Messrs. Bass, Truman, Combe, Courage, Meux, Reid, Watney, and Whitbread, have retained all the ordinary share capital in their own hands, and only offered debentures or preference shares to outsiders. Where the public have had a chance of participating some of the chief prizes for the past year have been among the metropolitan companies. The New Westminster have paid 8 per cent.; Smith Garrett, 9 per cent.; Nalder and Collyer, 10 per cent.; Lion, 12 per cent.; and City of London, 15 per cent. The premier place of all, how ever, must be accorded to the great Dublin firm of Guinness, who although it has declared only 15 per cent. has earned 30, carrying the difference over to a reserve fund, which now amounts to the substantial total of £400,000. Altogether brewery investors, who are now said to number 50,000, have every reason to be satisfied. Beer shows a great elasticity, and no doubt there is still room for considerable expansion. According to the last report of the Commissioners of Inland Revenue duty was paid on 408,347 barrels in excess of the previous year.

The market for brewery shares has been neglected for some time. While home railways and other stocks have boomed and touched the highest prices on record, beers, stouts, and lager beers have been resting. Even Guinness shares are 10 below the best figures touched this year, and most of the others are down in sympathy. Allsopp’s have slipped down from 93.125, to 78.75, and now stand at about 80. Bass, Bristol, Manchester, and others are all lower on balance, while lager beers have, in the majority of cases, been entirely neglected. The entire market has been in a state of repose for some time, and prices have dropped for want of support."
"The Brewers' Guardian 1889", 1889, page 372.

As the article states, in most cases the partners kept hold of the ordinary shares (the ones with voting rights) and only sold not-voting debentures or preference shares to the public. Typically, the capital was split 50-50 between the two. Meaning the partners got 50% of the value of the company in cash, but kept full control. This sudden influx of cash was to have a huge impact on the brewing trade.

Because it happened at exactly the moment when, due to stricter licensing laws, new pub licences were becoming almost unobtainable. The 1869 Licensing Act placed beer houses under the control of local licensing magistrates for the first time. Previously these had been handled by the Excise directly and licenses were granted automatically if a few basic conditions were met. Licensing magistrates wer mostly a miserable bunch, who saw it as their duty to reduce the number of pubs.

The result? The new limited companies used the capital raised to buy pubs, seeing that as the most reliable way of securing trade. The price of pubs rocketed and those who remained privately owned and didn't have much capital saw their outlets drying up. Even the mighty Alssopp, the UK's third-largest brewer, which was late going public and getting into the tied house game, came unstuck.

The boom years of the late 1880s and 1890s - when almost all brewers saw their trade increasing and their profits high - werent't to last. A series of tax increases in the early 20th century severly hit the trade, particularly the value of tied houses. As this formed a considerbale part of most breweries assets, many found themselves over-capitalised and had to mark down the value of their share capital. Often to just 10% of its nominal value.

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Let's Brew Wednesday - 1953 Truman XXX

We're heading back to the 1950s today. For a couple of reasons.

It's one of my favourite decades, for a start. My affectaion may be conencted with the fact that it's when I first popped into existence. Also because it's the origin not just of me personally, but of the British beer I grew up loving, too. It's a good excuse for another Mild recipe as well.

The strongest of Truman’s Milds, XXX, was pretty strong for a 1950s Mild. I suppose it would count as a Best Mild.

I should mention something about the colour of these Milds. I’ve no idea what it was, to be honest. The colours in the recipes are the minimum they would have been. It’s quite possible that they were sometimes, or always, coloured up at racking time. I’ve no Whitbread Gravity Book analyses for these beers so I’ve no way to check. Truman’s London-brewed Mild was dark, around 20-25 SRM.

3.7% ABV was pretty pokey for a Mild Ale back in the early 1950s. There were plenty under 3% ABV.

1953 Truman XXX
pale malt 3.50 lb 43.75%
high dried malt 3.50 lb 43.75%
crystal malt 60 L 0.50 lb 6.25%
raw cane sugar 0.50 lb 6.25%
Fuggles 90 mins 0.50 oz
Fuggles 60 mins 0.50 oz
Goldings 30 mins 0.25 oz
OG 1036
FG 1008
ABV 3.70
Apparent attenuation 77.78%
IBU 17
Mash at 150º F
Sparge at 170º F
Boil time 90 minutes
pitching temp 61.5º F
Yeast WLP013 London Ale (Worthington White Shield)

Like this sort of watery post-war recipe? Then why not invest in my latest book? It has a couple of hundred recipes from the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s:

Tuesday, 9 October 2018

Fullers AK 1925 - 1939

Just remembered that I hadn't posted the later years of Fullers AK. Been too busy gadding about and book writing. Recipe writing mostly. Such fun.

Just like AK. A topic of which I never tire. And keep returning to. I've amassed quite a collection of AKs from different breweries. It's fun to compare them. Which I may do properly, should arsing and my schedule allow.

If I'm honest, it's a pretty dull table. Not a lot was going on in terms of gravity or ABV. Or the level of hopping, for that matter. There's really not a lot I can say about any of it. A whole eload of nothing going on.

Oh, I know what I cant tell you: what happened to Fullers AK during WW II? The gravity dropped to 1028.4º in June 1941 nad soon after that, it disappeared forever. The old death by nowhere lower for the OG to go. Another slightly stronger Bitter got the chap, too. Only the strongest, PA, survived. Though, by the end of the war, its gravity wasn't much higher than this AK. Just 1034.6º.

Why don't I have the later AKs in the table? Because I haven't extracted the information from Fullers wartime records yet. I've still loads of brewing records unprocessed. Ones relevant to my current project get priority.

Will the grist be more exciting? I wouldn't get your hopes up.

Fullers AK 1925 - 1939
Date Year OG FG ABV App. Atten-uation lbs hops/ qtr hops lb/brl
17th Jun 1925 1032.2 1006.9 3.35 78.52% 10.4639 1.20
22nd Apr 1931 1032.3 1006.1 3.46 81.12% 9.85378 1.27
2nd Mar 1932 1032.5 1008.0 3.24 75.28% 9.90677 1.31
25th Jun 1935 1033.4 1006.4 3.58 80.93% 9.15159 1.44
31st Aug 1937 1033.7 1007.2 3.50 78.62% 9.51513 1.25
4th Jan 1938 1033.7 1005.5 3.72 83.54% 9.31636 1.28
24th Oct 1939 1033.4 1006.6 3.53 80.07% 9.19208 1.25
Fullers brewing records held at the brewery

Monday, 8 October 2018

Adnams AK 1878 - 1890

Did I say that I'd finished with AK? Fibby, fibby, fib time.

Another brief reprieve.

From Adnams.


Would write more. Chatting with Andrew about Hong Kong.

Work it out yourselves..

I will say this: Adnams dropped their AK early doors. Sometime between 1890 and 1913.
Adnams AK 1878 - 1890
Date Year OG lbs hops/ qtr hops lb/brl
2nd Jul 1878 1044.3 11.67 2.82
21st Apr 1890 1047.1 10.91 2.20
14th May 1890 1046.5 10.91 2.20
Adnams brewing record held at the brewery.

Sunday, 7 October 2018

Crowley AK 1914 - 1919

By popular request - well, one person asked - more on AK. Surely you find the topic as endlessly fascinating as I? If not, what the fuck are you doing reading my blog? Where AK in one form or another is always bound to pop up every now and again.

This particular KK is from Crowley of Alton in Hampshire. Hand on, I'll just consult Barber to see what the hell happened to them.

Founded 1763, bought by Watney 1947, closed 1970. So I only missed it by a couple of years. Not that I was likely to have been down that way. Still never have, for that matter.

The table covers the years of WW I. Whay is that? Because those are the years I have for Crowley. I didn't harvest the records I have myself. They were passed on to me by Edd Mather (thanks, Edd). It is a good illustration of what happened to UK beer in WW I. Bit of a drop in gravity in the first two years, then all sorts of craziness in the last two.

It looks to me that they were deliberately boosting the attenuation in the later war years to keep AK at least vaguely intoxicating. Though the attenuation was never much under 75%.

The hopping rate was fairly constantly around 6 lbs per quarter of malt (looking at the hops per quarter rate effectivley takes the strength of the beer out of the equation). Though after 1915 the hops became progressivley older. In 1919 they were still using Oregon hops from the 1912 harvest.

Grists next. Very illustrative of the war they are, too.

Crowley AK 1914 - 1919
Date Year OG FG ABV App. Atten-uation lbs hops/ qtr hops lb/brl
16th Jun 1914 1047.1 1011.1 4.76 76.47% 6.25 1.10
7th Jan 1915 1045.7 1008.9 4.87 80.61% 6.39 1.19
7th Jan 1916 1042.9 1011.1 4.21 74.19% 5.08 0.87
13th Jan 1916 1041.6 1011.1 4.03 73.33% 5.17 0.82
22nd May 1917 1033.2 1006.6 3.52 80.00% 6.19 0.83
10th Jul 1917 1036.0 1007.2 3.81 80.00% 7.00 0.99
1st Jan 1918 1033.2 1009.4 3.15 71.67% 6.25 0.83
4th Jun 1918 1030.5 1006.1 3.22 80.00% 5.85 0.70
23rd July 1918 1027.7 1002.8 3.30 90.00% 6.00 0.64
26th Sep 1918 1030.5 1006.6 3.15 78.18% 5.69 0.69
12th Feb 1919 1034.6 1006.6 3.70 80.80% 6.00 0.85
12th May 1919 1036.0 1007.2 3.81 80.00% 6.00 0.86
Brewing record held at Hampshire Archives and Local Studies, document number 37M86/2.

Saturday, 6 October 2018

Let's Brew - 1916 Tetley Porter

By the start of WW I, though Stout remained popular, ordinary draught Porter was did in most of the country. Tetley was one of a very small number of breweries in the North of England that still produced one. Only in London was Porter still a mainstream beer.

Speaking of which, Tetley’s Porter looks very similar to London versions, both in terms of strength and ingredients. Particularly in the use of both brown and black malt. In much of the UK brewers dropped brown malt from their Porter and Stout in the second half of the 19th century, going over to a simpler grist of just pale and black malt.

I’m not totally sure what the sugars in the original were, with 490 lbs being described as “D Brazilian” and 40 lbs as “Clowes”. I’ve guessed that the former was some sort of raw cane sugar.

The hops were Worcester from 1914, Sonoma from 1913 and Burgundy from 1914. I’ve interpreted those as Fuggles, Cluster and Strisselspalt, respectively. From the middle of the war on, more and more old hops were used. Though one or two year old hops weren’t uncommon pre-war, it was unusual to find beers with no hops less than two years old.

1916 Tetley Porter
mild malt 5.00 lb 48.78%
pale malt 1.50 lb 14.63%
brown malt 1.25 lb 12.20%
black malt 1.00 lb 9.76%
brown sugar 1.50 lb 14.63%
Cluster 120 min 1.00 oz
Strisselspalt 60 min 0.50 oz
Fuggles 30 min 0.50 oz
OG 1048
FG 1018.5
ABV 3.90
Apparent attenuation 61.46%
IBU 32
SRM 32
Mash at 150º F
Sparge at 165º F
Boil time 120 minutes
pitching temp 61º F
Yeast Wyeast 1469 West Yorkshire Ale

Friday, 5 October 2018

Boddington AK hopping 1901 - 1917

This will probably be my last post on AK for a while. Bet you're relieved. Though I'm bound to return to the topic at some point.

Boddinton were always pretty crazy when it came to hopping, using, as they did, five or six different types in every beer. Most breweries stuck to between two and four types. Usually from several different years' harvests. It's a right pain in the arse when transcribing their brewing records and when writing recipes.

While before the war there was generally only one type of foreign hops, during it there were usually two. Boddington's favourite sources being California and Belgium, though Bohemia pops up occasionally, too.

Note that there Belgian hops from the 1915 harvest in the 1917 AK. Belgium's Poperinge hop region was in the tiny corner of Belgium never occupied by the Germans. With very few brewers left locally who could take their hops, ther were plenty going spare. UK brewers used them in increasing quantities later in the war when most other foreign supplies were cut off.

Boddington AK hopping 1901 - 1917
Date Year OG copper hops dry hops
12th Dec 1901 1046 English (4 types) Californian
9th July 1902 1046 English (1900, 1901) Californian (1900)
7th May 1903 1046 English (1900, 1901, 1901 CS, 1902) Californian (1901)
29th Jan 1913 1042 English (1909, 1910, 1911, 1912) Poperinge (1911)
9th Jul 1914 1044 English (1910, 1912, 1913) Bohemian (1912) Californian (1913) English (1913) & Californian (1913) 
5th May 1915 1039 English (1911, 1912, 1913, 1914) Poperinghe (1913) Californian (1913) English (1914) & Californian (1913)
16th May 1916 1040 English (1912, 1915) Californian (1914) Poperinge (1914) English (1915) & Californian (1914)
1st Feb 1917 1039 English (1914, 1915, 1916) Californian (1915) Poperinge (1915) English (1916) & Californian (1915)
Boddington brewing record held at Manchester Central Library, document number M693/405/126.
Boddington brewing record held at Manchester Central Library, document number M693/405/126.
Boddington brewing record held at Manchester Central Library, document number M693/405/127.